Traditionally, Tenshug is a long life prayer offering made to spiritual teachers at which the sponsors of the ceremony also make commitments to practise the teachings of the lama. Tibetans and Mongolians have offered it to His Holiness the Dalai Lama a number of times just this year, the last one being on December 27 in Dharamsala. On January 2, 2008 the Dalai Lama will again be offered auspicious ‘objects’ at a ceremony organized by the Tibetan government in exile as a gesture of gratitude for his leadership, an offering of congratulations for the Congressional Gold Metal, and a request to live a long life. The Dalai Lama has talked about curtailing the tradition of Tenshugs and such ‘offering rituals’ on several occasions in the past as he has felt that many people don’t seem to understand or implement their end of the ‘Tenshug’ vow, which theoretically commits them to practice and conform to his teachings and views. This week’s Kunleng looks at the tradition and debates its relevance and implications for the present time.
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